Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Managerial aversions, 2

Aversion, of course, is a movement--a movement away. The capacity to engage in relations of movement and rest: affect.

Aversion as a response to feeling "beleaguered"--feeling pushed, misunderstood. Here's Bruffee, in a 1977 MLA address:

The profession is in the habit of considering them second-class citizens, in
part because they have stepped through the looking glass . . . into that never-never land where croquet mallets turn into flamingoes and croquet balls turn into hedgehogs: the land of administration; and mainly, of course, because they take the job of teaching writing seriously.

The solution? Deny that you really are that, turn away, affectively from that part of your work:

[I]n my list of what writing program administrators are expected to do I have not included what most of us think administrators do—the managerial tasks of making up schedules, assigning classes, hiring and firing, that sort of thing. Of course some writing program administrators have those responsibilities too. But where writing program administrators differ—or should differ—from most other college administrators is that the most important part of their job is not managerial but directly educational. . . . In fact, I would say that only when writing program administrators conceive of their job in this larger way, as teaching, do they have a prayer of doing the job as it must be done.

As I suggested before, in part this reflects a particular way of defining the managerial, a definition that management gurus would be at pains to contradict. It's interesting, moreover, that Drucker considers the manager to be unlike any other role in our "institutional society" save one: the teacher. And that the work of primary pedagogy, according to Worsham, is the fixing of emotion. And that immaterial labor, according to Hardt & Negri, is twofold: informational and affective.

Some connections I'm working toward making.

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